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Pro Packing Tips for Your Pup’s Stay With a Sitter

Trip booked? – Check
Pet-sitter booked? – Check
Ready to take that vacation? – Check, check and check!

As excited as you are to take some days for yourself, leaving your furry friend with a pet-sitter can seem slightly stressful. But not to worry, this stress can be avoided with a little preparation and a well-packed bag. We’ve asked our friends at DogVacay.com, an online service that connects pet owners with loving pet-sitters, to share their best packing tips with us for the perfect pet vacation. Here is a list of essentials for a successful and stress-free stay for your pup while you are away.

An Approximate Schedule
In a dog’s mind there is comfort with familiarity and a sudden change in routine can throw them off. Sharing your pup’s normal schedule with your sitter (i.e. what time they usually eat, drink, take walks, etc) can help them acclimate quickly to their new environment.

Food and Treats
Be sure to pack enough food and treats for the length of the stay. It’s always best if they are eating the same food and treats that they enjoy at home to avoid any tummy aches. Don’t forget any medication or supplements they normally take!

Disposable Bags

Since your pup will be eating, they will also be pooping. If your pup normally poops on leash it’s always a nice gesture to bring along some disposable bags for your sitter to pick up after him. A healthy poop is a happy dog!

Leash and Harness
There’s nothing more exciting for a pup than a nice, long walk in a new environment- all the smells to sniff and sights to see! Make sure you pack the leash and harness they normally use so that they can explore with confidence.

Where does your pup normally sleep? In a crate? A dog bed? On the floor? Don’t forget to pack their favorite bedding so that everyone can have a good night’s rest. If they don’t have a preference that’s ok too – just communicate this with their sitter.

Toys or Comfort Items from Home
Last but not least, having a little bit of home to take with your pup can help ease any separation anxiety they may experience. A toy, blanket or just something that smells like home can be a source of comfort for any initial loneliness.

Remember- comfort and familiarity are key. So if there’s something that your pup can’t live without when he’s at home be sure to bring it along on his stay. Your (and your pup’s) vacation will fly by and you will be reunited before you know it – both well rested!

Traveling With Your Pup: Where to Stay

Once you’ve experienced the unmatched, incredible human-pooch bond, it can become hard – both logistically and emotionally to leave your dog at home while the rest of the family goes on vacation. Fortunately, if you’re up for it, there are many pup-friendly vacation options that make bringing Fido along a convenient and fun experience.

Depending on the size of your family and your needs, renting a house that allows dogs through a service like Airbnb or VRBO can be a great option that offers a yard for your dog to play, a full kitchen to store food and treats, and/or ample space for a crate, dog bed, and toys.

traveling-thumbnailAlternatively, if you prefer to lounge in the lap of luxury, many hotels and resorts not only accommodate dogs, but offer services customized for man’s best friend. Any of these major hotel chains are worth looking into – can’t you already imagine your pup enjoying room service and a nice, scenic walk by the beach?

The Fairmont
Depending on the property, Fairmont hotels offer a variety of pet-friendly accoutrements such as a welcome basket filled with dog treats, water bowl and toys, ample grounds for long walks, and pet sitting services. Be sure to call ahead for the specific property’s pet policy, additional room and housekeeping fees, weight limits and restricted areas.

Kimpton Hotels
Kimpton is one of the first hotel chains to offer pet-friendly services and accommodations. In fact, bringing your furry friend to stay at a Kimpton is free and without charge, and the hotel welcomes dogs of all different sizes and breeds. Management provides basic amenities such as beds, treats, mats and bowls as well as a concierge list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks and stores upon arrival.

W Hotels
Most W Hotels have a “P.A.W” policy, meaning Pets Are Welcome, but enforce a one-dog only limit and require that the dog be less than 40 pounds. If your dog meets this criteria, with an additional fee and non-refundable cleaning charge, he will be welcomed with treats and a variety of living amenities for his stay. The concierge will also gladly arrange dog sitting, dog walking, birthday cake or locations of nearest dog parks and dog-friendly places at your request.

Trump Hotel Collection
Check each Trump property for its specific pet policy including fees and restrictions, but all hotels are pet-friendly and welcome your four-legged friend. Amenities in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Toronto, Waikiki and Doral, Miami, the Trump Pets program offers gourmet treats, in-room dog-specific dining menu, plush dog beds, dog walking services and more.

Loews Hotels
The Loews Loves Pets program offers services such as welcome gifts with name tag, bowl and special treats as well as a “pet in room” sign that helps you relax and alerts the housekeeping staff there is a furry friend in your room. To lighten your travel load, the hotel offers pet beds and accessories. And for mealtime, your pet can enjoy gourmet room service pet menus developed by in-house chefs in conjunction with a licensed veterinarian. Restrictions include two pets per room.

Now that you have a few suggestions, here is a list of questions you should ask the hotel staff before booking your stay.

• What are the extra fees associated with accommodating a dog? Room fee, service fee, housekeeping fee?
• How large are the hotel grounds? Is there ample enough space to take my dog for a walk?
• What are the sleeping options for dogs? Do you offer in-room pet beds or is there a hotel kennel?
• Are there any restricted areas where my dog cannot go, e.g., the pool, lobby, etc.?
• Do you offer dog-food options?
• Do you offer any bonus amenities such as pet-friendly activities?

Now that you’re fully equipped with information to travel with your pet, get ready to enjoy a relaxing, memorable vacation!